Roy Haynes

When It's Haynes It Roars

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This is undoubtedly one of the best straightahead jazz records of the 1990s. It is a crowning achievement for drum legend Roy Haynes, who emerged as a bandleader relatively late in his career. Together with tenor saxophonist Craig Handy, pianist David Kikoski, and bassist Ed Howard, Haynes explores time-honored standards as well as bop and post-bop classics. The truly outstanding tracks are Chick Corea's awe-inspiring "Steps," Thelonious Monk's catchy "Bye Ya," the Miles Davis bop vehicle "Sippin' at Bells," and a greasy, in-the-pocket reading of "I Thought About You."

Bookending the album are two traditional tunes: "Brown Skin Girl," made famous by Harry Belafonte, and "Anniversary," a traditional melody associated with Al Jolson. Both tracks feature Kikoski on electric piano, an unexpected touch that makes for delicious icing on the cake. An unforgettable record.

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